AK Sheep, Population Observations

Thunder

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Maybe you could do some basic research on the "History" of Forums, the history goes back thousands of years. Just because someone voices an opinion you dislike, does not validate your assertion they have ruined the forum.
Now there you go again spouting off about nothing. Who’s to say I disagree with your opinion?

Go read another book about hunting in Alaska so you can tell us another story oh great one!
 

Arctic_Beaver

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A little sneak preview on the Draw Supplement. I picked up the 2022-2023 at DF&G's office in town today. For the TMA, DS102 will have 10 permits available. There is no DS103. They combined them both as one for the whole season. There is language added that the intent is to maintain "trophy quality rams" not to necessarily increase the population though. That however is quite the reduction to the number of permits which were available this year.

I did also notice a reduction in some of the Chugach permits which will be made available too.
 

VernAK

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A little sneak preview on the Draw Supplement. I picked up the 2022-2023 at DF&G's office in town today. For the TMA, DS102 will have 10 permits available. There is no DS103. They combined them both as one for the whole season. There is language added that the intent is to maintain "trophy quality rams" not to necessarily increase the population though. That however is quite the reduction to the number of permits which were available this year.

I did also notice a reduction in some of the Chugach permits which will be made available too.
TMA had 60 tags + Gov Tag.....9 sheep harvested.

DS206....Mt Harper had 4 tags.....3 hunters....1 sheep at 11 years old

DS 203...DCUA walk-in.....65 tags....61 reporting....44 hunted....12 rams with average age 8.5 years.
 

wantj43

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Listened a podcast by Kaleb Martin that featured sheep research biologists. Presented an excellent overview of the current sheep situation. Well worth hearing the update.
 

schmalzy

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Listened a podcast by Kaleb Martin that featured sheep research biologists. Presented an excellent overview of the current sheep situation. Well worth hearing the update.

Have a link or good place to find it? iTunes?


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Broomd

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TMA had 60 tags + Gov Tag.....9 sheep harvested.

DS206....Mt Harper had 4 tags.....3 hunters....1 sheep at 11 years old

DS 203...DCUA walk-in.....65 tags....61 reporting....44 hunted....12 rams with average age 8.5 years.
Wow, woeful numbers for some of the best hunts in the state. It sure reads as if 'draw' is the next step statewide. Most of us suspected that would come eventually.
 

wantj43

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Wow, woeful numbers for some of the best hunts in the state. It sure reads as if 'draw' is the next step statewide. Most of us suspected that would come eventually.
One for three is obviously 33 % - 12/44 is 27 % success.
 

cod007

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Those are some sad and disturbing numbers. Thanks Vern.
Curious why this is disturbing. I thought sheep hunting (any hunting, for that matter) was supposed to be ‘tough’. Twenty five percent success sounds pretty reasonable to me. I’d say even more than reasonable when u throw in a bunch of first time sheep slayers.
 

Broomd

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One for three is obviously 33 % - 12/44 is 27 % success.
+1...be interesting to see the same statistics from roughly 15-20 years ago for hunters who actually hunted the tags. Around 2000+, TMA and DCU were fantatstic for anyone willing to put in the effort.
 

VernAK

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+1...be interesting to see the same statistics from roughly 15-20 years ago for hunters who actually hunted the tags. Around 2000+, TMA and DCU were fantatstic for anyone willing to put in the effort.
I don't have all of TMA stats but here's a peak year out of DCUA:
2017....DS203....70 tags....70 reported....54 hunted.....28 rams avg age 8.7......52% success

2019 ...DS 204....70 tags.....70 reported....61 hunted......31 rams avg age9.1......51% success

2016.....DS206....4 tags....4 reported.......4 hunted......4 rams avg 10.0.......100% success

2020.....is the first year that I see any success less than 30%......but I only have 9 years of stats.
 

Broomd

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I don't have all of TMA stats but here's a peak year out of DCUA:
2017....DS203....70 tags....70 reported....54 hunted.....28 rams avg age 8.7......52% success

2019 ...DS 204....70 tags.....70 reported....61 hunted......31 rams avg age9.1......51% success

2016.....DS206....4 tags....4 reported.......4 hunted......4 rams avg 10.0.......100% success

2020.....is the first year that I see any success less than 30%......but I only have 9 years of stats.
T/y. And those numbers reflect the solid success (and ram age) statistics that many of us remember.
 

fatbacks

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Curious why this is disturbing. I thought sheep hunting (any hunting, for that matter) was supposed to be ‘tough’. Twenty five percent success sounds pretty reasonable to me. I’d say even more than reasonable when u throw in a bunch of first time sheep slayers.

I think he’s alluding to the fact that used to be one of the best sheep draw hunts in the state for opportunity to harvest a decent ram and now only 7 rams came out. Very bad if you compare to previous years.


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adam634

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In certain Alaska units, sheep are in trouble (19C is one example). So we need to look at the human component (human harvests) and deal with that, because we are not able to do predator control for non-human sheep predation (i.e. golden eagles, which are the main non-human predator). We also can't control avalanches and deep snows and winter rains etc that can lead to sheep mortalities).

Over the past two decades in 19C, nonresident sheep hunters (guided) have consistently taken 80% of the harvest. One guide who guided there for 20 years put in a proposal last year to cease all hunting for two years for everyone because of his concerns for the sheep population. He has since moved on to other areas in the state to guide sheep hunts.

This isn't rocket science. We need to limit the nonresident sheep hunters in areas like 19C to draw only with a limited allocation. We need to do the same elsewhere as well because if we don't the sheep will further decline and Alaskan residents are going to lose general sheep hunting opportunities.
Talking sheep is a little above my pay grade but it seems that NR opportunity is already extremely limited and cost a ton. Low draw odds and big cost for general hunts. It feels like Alaskan residents but the most pressure on sheep? Is this off base? I get that ppl that live there have more “claim” to the sheep, but how much more limited can you make NR opportunity there without making taking it away. Just like here in Idaho we are going to need to start looking at the effects of resident pressure here soon
 
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ColeyG

ColeyG

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Talking sheep is a little above my pay grade but it seems that NR opportunity is already extremely limited and cost a ton. Low draw odds and big cost for general hunts. It feels like Alaskan residents but the most pressure on sheep? Is this off base? I get that ppl that live there have more “claim” to the sheep, but how much more limited can you make NR opportunity there without making taking it away. Just like here in Idaho we are going to need to start looking at the effects of resident pressure here soon

The only limitations on sheep hunting for non-residents are guide availability and being willing and able to pay for a guide. Those are barriers to entry, certainly, but there are plenty of folks for whom these things are not limiting factors.

Regarding who puts the most "pressure" on sheep, that is a tricky question to answer and it depends on how you define pressure.

If my memory serves correctly, in a typical year non-residents make up about 20% of the sheep hunters in AK, and they kill roughly half of the rams taken each year with an average success rate of about 65%.

Residents in turn account for 80% of the hunters in the field, kill about half of the rams each year, and have an average success rate of a little less than 20%.

Most guided hunters spend a week and change in the hills chasing sheep as part of their trip, whereas many residents can make a number of smaller, shorter trips throughout the season, hunt sheep in a few different places, etc.

Rather than pressure, I look at it more in terms of population impact, and it seems that res and non-res (guides) have about the same impact on the overall population each year.
 

adam634

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The only limitations on sheep hunting for non-residents are guide availability and being willing and able to pay for a guide. Those are barriers to entry, certainly, but there are plenty of folks for whom these things are not limiting factors.

Regarding who puts the most "pressure" on sheep, that is a tricky question to answer and it depends on how you define pressure.

If my memory serves correctly, in a typical year non-residents make up about 20% of the sheep hunters in AK, and they kill roughly half of the rams taken each year with an average success rate of about 65%.

Residents in turn account for 80% of the hunters in the field, kill about half of the rams each year, and have an average success rate of a little less than 20%.

Most guided hunters spend a week and change in the hills chasing sheep as part of their trip, whereas many residents can make a number of smaller, shorter trips throughout the season, hunt sheep in a few different places, etc.

Rather than pressure, I look at it more in terms of population impact, and it seems that res and non-res (guides) have about the same impact on the overall population each year.
Good explanation
much of this is tricky and convoluted for sure would never in a million years want to contribute to the fall of the species but just seems taking something that is already almost out of reach and limiting it even further can’t be the answer, but again these things are complex with a lot of angles
 
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